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Gaza’s Rafah Crossing: Journalists’ Struggles and Humanitarian Crisis

Amidst the truce between Palestinian factions and Israel, the Rafah land crossing, separating the Gaza Strip and Egypt, became a focal point for Palestinian journalists. Their aim was to monitor prisoner exchanges, oversee the entry of food aid trucks, facilitate the return of stranded individuals, and manage the departure of those holding different nationalities.

However, this period caused numerous challenges for Palestinian journalists. Basil Khalaf, an Arab TV correspondent in Gaza, highlighted critical issues faced at the Rafah crossing. “There are several problems here,” Khalaf explained, “especially the intermittent electricity supply necessary to charge our work tools.”

He further detailed the struggle with fuel shortages, essential for international and media organizations to operate vehicles and reach devastated areas within Gaza.

“In the southernmost part of Gaza, communication and internet disruptions are constant,” Khalaf added, emphasizing the extended work hours necessary to report news to the world.

Photojournalist Mahmoud Al-Masry echoed these struggles. “The power outage severely impacts us; we can’t charge our cameras or phones to cover the ongoing bombings,” he lamented. “Moreover, the lack of food in this remote area forces us to survive on just one meal a day.”

Among those affected is Abu Ahmed Al-Nakhlawi, an Egyptian citizen stranded in Gaza due to prolonged departure procedures. He pleaded for help, recounting the destruction of his home by Israeli airstrikes, the loss of relatives, and the injuries sustained by his daughters and granddaughters.

Desperate for assistance, Al-Nakhlawi directly addressed Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, pleading for evacuation to Egypt. “Seventeen of my family members were martyred, our homes razed to the ground. We are homeless, sleeping on the streets,” he implored.

Meanwhile, during the truce, numerous Palestinians stuck in Egypt due to the conflict managed to return to Gaza despite the war’s destruction.

Omaima Hisham, one such returnee stranded for over a month in Egypt after the crossing closure, expressed relief upon reuniting with her family in Gaza. “I couldn’t leave my children and home behind,” she stated, hoping for an end to the war and the Palestinian people’s eventual freedom and peace.


Rafah Border Crossing Is Gaza‘s Only Gate To The Outside World

The report highlighted the Red Cross facilitating the transfer of Israeli detainees from Gaza to Israel through the Rafah crossing at night, in line with the truce terms between Hamas and Israel.

The Rafah border crossing serves as Gaza’s sole connection to the outside world. However, Palestinian movement through the crossing remains heavily restricted, often leaving Gazans stranded on either side for extended periods during closures, hindering their freedom of movement.

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